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Art. 36. The Art of making Tea: a Poem, in Two Cantos. 12mo.
6d. Conder. Though the cost of this poem besixpence, yel the sum of genius displayed in it amounts only to what Dr. Corbet calls “a farthing. muse;" we hope that the Poet's Tea is made stronger than his verses. King's Art of Cookery, to which the author refers, was an ironical poem, somewhat like Horace's Dialogue with Catius : but whether the present verses be meant in jest or in earnest, the writer has hardly furnished us with the means of deciding. If they be in jest, there is too little merriinent ; if they be in earnest, they are too carelessly written. It seems that tea, which, in the opinion of many, is no better than water bewitched, is not a more powerful inspirer than the simple element. - The reader shall decide whether the following lines ought to have been admitted in a piece of elegant humour :
• Let not the general error lead you wrong,
Milkmaids and shepherds only shine in song.
'Twere better, if you can, to keep a cow.'
However, as we are always “candid where we cun, we shall exhibit some lines of a better cast; which will shew that our poet has been rather careless than incompetent, in the other parts of his performance. There is something of the vis poetica in this passage :
• To softer scenes my quiet muse repairs,
Where gentle lovers sit in elbow chairs.
No type restrains him, and no rhymes assuage.' We shall therefore conclude by giving the gentle bård a little advice, in his own style :
• Pour not too soon your tea nor verscs off ;
The vapid stream our thirsty lip deceives,
Your tea nine minutes, and your piece nine years.' Fer...I.
a Tragedy. Written by William Shakspeare. With Notes and Emendations, by Harry Rowe, Trumpet-Major to the High-Sheriffs of Yorkshire ; and Master of a Puppet-show. 2d Edition. Svo. 28. 6d. Vernor and Hood.
When we took up the present performance, we were somewhat surprized on seeing Punch aspire to the honours of criticism, and claiming a seat on the literary bench: but we considered that our venerable critic, having for so long a period preceded the judges in their entry to the antient castle of York, might be expected to have picked up some knowlege of decisions. We recollected, also, that a puppet-show is the perfect type of the Greek and Roman drama, the parts being gesticulated by one performer, and declaimed by another ; and in this instance, the resemblance is completed by Mr. Rowe's union of the Tibicen with the other characters of author and manager. On making these reflections, though we did not perhaps " spy a brother,” yet we proceeded, with much complacency of mind, to examine the contents of the pamphlet.
The corrections proposed by Mr. Harry Rowe are somewhat in the style of Dr. Bentley: he has not spared the text, to substitute his own conjectures. In the very
scene, proposes, instead of
“ If it were done, when 'tis done, then 'twere well
It were done quickly :"
We shall insert a long note, on a line which this critic wishes to
Fohnson. Steevens. Malone.
This, though not an extraordinary good line, has something like sense to recommend it. As the rejected line appears in all the old copies, it certainly was written by Shakspeare, so I shall follow the custom of commentators, and give my conjecture concerning it.
•The river Avon is remarkable for its silver eels and golden tench; and as Shakspeare drew all his images from nature, we may reasonably suppose, that these two natural objects made a strong impression bipon his fancy, and might be the fountain from which he drew
• His silver skin lac'd with his golden blood.' • Dr. Faustus, who is one of my best-dressed dramatic characters, and whom I consult upon all learned occasions, expresses great surprise that Dr. Johnson should have permitted this line to stand in his edi. țion of Macbeth; and the more so, as he could not but apply to it a certain line in Horace;
“ Insigne, recens, adhuc indictum ore alio." • From this specimen of my learned puppet's erudition, the reader may be desirous of knowing something concerning him. He was educated at one of our universities, where he drank much and read little ; and after a residence of four years, he quitted his college, with nearly as much learning as he brought into it.
H.R. We observe another reading, at p. 57, on a much disputed passage, which we cannot adopt : the Lilliputian Manager reads,
“ We have scorch'd the snake, not killed it;" and he adds the following note :
“ We have stotch'd the snake, not kill'd it,
She'll close, and be herself. Johnson. Steevens. Malone. “ We have scorch'd the snake, not kill'd it, She'll close and be herself
First folio. · The old editions have “scorch’d,” but almost all the commentators have changed the word into "scotch’d,” upon the supposition that there was a nearer connection between “scotching” and “closing," than between “scorching” and “closing.” My Prompter, who is a north-country man, says that there is no such word as “scotch'd.” It is “scutch'd," a word chiefly used by the growers and manufac. turers of hemp and fiax, and implies beating, bruising, or dividing. The wooden-headed fellow of my company who plays the clown, says, that snakes are soon killed by lashing them with switches, and that by smart strokes their bodies may be divided. This has induced some of the gentlemen of my green-room to adopt,
• We have switch'd the snake, not kill'd it,
She'll close, and be herself. • The stuffed figure of my company who plays the Serpent in “ The History of Adam and Eve,” has suggested a reading that is more con formable to natural history.
• We have bruis’d the snake, not kill'd it,
She'll coil, and be herself. • My Prompter wishes the original text to be continued, only substi.
tuting" coil for “ close;" and this he calls a good emendation. I
After all, I do not consider Shakspeare as under any obligation to
Shakspeare's original word was undoubtedly scutch'd; which, in some of the northern counties, means a smart but slight stroke with a whip, or flexible rod, sufficient to stun the reptile, but not to destroy it. The word bruis’d, suggested by Mr. Rowe's old Serpent, has no more relation to Shakspeare's idea, than to the operation of a cat o' nine tails.
Several other remarks of this kind occur to us: but, as Shakspeare
On the whole, we have been tolerably amused by the criticisms of
on the 5th Day of January 1799: being an authentic Copy of
Those whose attention to public affairs leads them to inquiries re.
An Examination of the Conduct of the European Powers since
The unknown author of this tract appears to possess a very, con,
which died within a year of its birth, he expresses most devoutly his wish that 'all the republics which have budded forth, towards the end of this century, had shared the same fate.'
Influenced by this sentiment, he endeavours to persuade the European Powers, to whom this work is addressed, that the destructive progress of French arms is a natural consequence of the apathy manifested by them at the commencement of the revolution, and of their want of union and energy, when at length the insolence and crimes of the republic compelled them to arm in their own defence ; and that nothing but a firm coalition of the states of Europe against France, and a vigorous exertion of their whole strength, can save them from falling individually and successively before that gigantic and unprincipled power."
The work is divided into eight chapters. In the first, the writer applies himself to the German empire, and enters into a minute and able detail of the errors which that body has committed in the management of the war, from the first entrance of General Custine into Germany ; in the neutrality of several of the states, their refusal to furnish contingents, and their agreeing to a line of demarcation ; in. the pusillanimity shewn at Rastadt ; in the defection of Prussia ; in the want of concord in the military operations of the allies; in their inaction in Italy, while they made war in the Low Countries; in the waste of time at Valenciennes, and afterward in the
terms granted to the garrison ; and in the treaty of Leoben and that of Campo Formio. All these and a variety of other points are here touched with an able hand. Of the conduct of Prussia, he speaks with peculiar disapprobation ; and he reprobates, as the extreme of impolicy, its neutrality towards Trance while that power overran Holland: which, by treaty, by policy, and by ties of blood, the Prussians were bound to defend.
In the second chapter, treating of the states of the North of Europe, the writer panegyrizes the conduct of Paul I. and cautions the allies against entertaining the idea that the system of this prince is founded on views of self-aggrandizement, tó result from a new partition of Germany, Sweden he labours to persuade to enter into the coalition, from a view of the danger of its commerce should France succeed against England; and Denmark, the most absolute government at present in Europe, he thinks, cannot hope to be spared if the republic should triumph.
In his third chapter, though he allows Great Britain full credit for her energy in the cause, he does not admit that she has been free from military and political errors. He charges her with having dissuaded Prussia from entering France in the year 1792 : he considers the attack of Dunkirk as having been in the highest degree impolitic, and undertaken at a time when an attempt should have been made at striking some decisive blow; and he accuses her of negligence in Toulon, of having neglected Holland in 1794 and 1795, and of devoting the remains of the French marine officers to destruction, in what he deems the half-calculated and ill-appointed expedition to Quiberon, which should have been supported by a diversion on the coasts of Holland. Roused at length by the insolence of the Di